The Cambrian

Cambria trash-collection fee increase approved

Cambrians’ trash-collecting bills will rise on Jan. 1, but most of Mission Country Disposal’s customers probably won’t notice the change.

After a 15-minute hearing Oct. 23, the Cambria Community Services District Board of Directors unanimously approved the 1.92 percent rate increase proposed by its franchisee.

Tom Martin, Mission Country’s general manager, said the increase will be 34 cents a month for so-called “single can” customers who have the smallest gray waste-wheeler can (32-gallon size), with the new rate rising to $18.04 from $17.70. He said most Cambrians use that size can, which determines their rate for collection of trash, recyclables and greenwaste.

Monthly costs for the other two sizes of residential cans will go up 68 cents and $1.02, respectively, for the 64- and 96-gallon cans.

The largest monthly increase will be for five-times-a-week emptying of a 4-yard commercial dumpster. That cost rises $13.34 a month to $708.40 from $695.06.

Martin said primary triggers for the increase were landfill costs and insurance, especially changes in health insurance.

Other causes were additional increases in operational expenses, including fuel and other vehicle costs, rising wages and higher costs from meeting more stringent state and federal regulations.

The CSD meeting included a report on results of a Proposition 218 protest hearing. According to state law, to have stopped the increase, more than 1,900 of Mission Country’s customers in Cambria would have had to submit written protests. Clerk Monique Madrid reported that the district received three protests.

By the time the hearing began shortly after 5 p.m., the previous full-house audience had dwindled to fewer than 25 people. Martin noted the drop in attendance, then quipped that “and I thought they all were here to hear me talk trash.”